The James Hearst Digital Archive

Home » Poetry » Hang On to the Grab Bar

Hang On to the Grab Bar

Text of Poem

Caught in the revolving door
of the walking world, he must
calculate each maneuver inch by
inch lest a goddam miss flip him
flat on his face. So measure with
the eye, test with the hand every
move to hold on, no sure thing for
a man who cannot stand squarely
on his own feet. The girls pass
around him as on safe ground where
no adventure pops from the jungle
of their explorations.
He wishes for a refuge in the
mountains where he could live
in a cave, give love to the birds
and shove curious glances and
muttered excuses over a precipice.
He makes a family of himself
to comfort him and wonders at
bedtime if he can face the threat
of another day ahead.

First Line
Caught in the revolving door
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Kansas Quarterly 11 (Summer 1979) 71.
Complete Poems
Word Count
Poetic Form